The Rising of the Court
62 Pages
English
Downloading requires you to have access to the YouScribe library
Learn all about the services we offer

The Rising of the Court

-

Downloading requires you to have access to the YouScribe library
Learn all about the services we offer
62 Pages
English

Informations

Published by
Published 08 December 2010
Reads 20
Language English

Exrait

The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Rising of the Court, by Henry Lawson This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
Title: The Rising of the Court Author: Henry Lawson Release Date: July 25, 2009 [EBook #7447] Language: English Character set encoding: ASCII *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE RISING OF THE COURT ***
Produced by Geoffrey Cowling, and David Widger
THE RISING OF THE COURT
By Henry Lawson
Note: Only the prose stories are reproduced here, not the poetry.
Contents
THE RISING OF THE COURT "ROLL UP AT TALBRAGAR"
WANTED BY THE POLICE THE BATH INSTINCT GONE WRONG THE HYPNOTIZED TOWNSHIP THE EXCISEMAN MATESHIP IN SHAKESPEARE'S ROME
THE RISING OF THE COURT  Oh, then tell us, Sings and Judges, where our meeting is to be,  when the laws of men are nothing, and our spirits all are free  when the laws of men are nothing, and no wealth can hold the fort,  There'll be thirst for mighty brewers at the Rising of the Court. The same dingy court room, deep and dim, like a well, with the clock high up on the wall, and the doors low down in it; with the bench, which, with some gilding, might be likened to a gingerbread imitation of a throne; the royal arms above it and the little witness box to one side, where so many honest poor people are bullied, insulted and laughed at by third-rate blackguardly little "lawyers," and so many pitiful, pathetic and noble lies are told by pitiful sinners and disreputable heroes for a little liberty for a lost self, or for the sake of a friend—of a "pal" or a "cobber." The same overworked and underpaid magistrate trying to keep his attention fixed on the same old miserable scene before him; as a weary, overworked and underpaid journalist or author strives to keep his attention fixed on his proofs. The same row of big, strong, healthy, good-natured policemen trying not to grin at times; and the police-court solicitors ("the place stinks with 'em," a sergeant told me) wrangling over some miserable case for a crust, and the "reporters," shabby some of them, eager to get a brutal joke for their papers out of the accumulated mass of misery before them, whether it be at the expense of the deaf, blind, or crippled man, or the alien. And opposite the bench, the dock, divided by a partition, with the women to the left and the men to the right, as it is on the stairs or the block in polite society. They bring children here no longer. The same shaking, wild-eyed, blood-shot-eyed and blear-eyed drunks and disorderlies, though some of the women have nerves yet; and the same decently dressed, but trembling and conscience-stricken little wretch up for petty larceny or something, whose motor car bosses of a big firm have sent a solicitor, "manager " or some , understrapper here to prosecute and give evidence. But, over there, on a form to one side of the bench-opposite the witness box—and as the one bright spot in this dark, and shameful, and useless scene—and in a patch of sunlight from the skylight as it ha ens—sit re resentatives of the Prisoners' Aid Societ , Prison
Gate and Rescue Brigades, etc. (one or two of the ladies in nurses' uniforms), who are come to help us and to fight for us against the Law of their Land and of ours, God help us! Mrs Johnson, of Red Rock Lane, is here, and her rival in revolution, One-Eyed Kate, and Cock-Eyed Sal, and one or two of the other aristocrats of the alley. And the weeping bedraggled remains of what was once, and not so long ago, a pretty, slight, fair-haired and blue-eyed Australian girl. She is up for inciting One-Eyed Kate to resist the police. Also, Three-Pea Ginger, Stousher, and Wingy, for some participation in the row amongst the aforementioned ladies. (Wingy, by the way, is a ratty little one-armed man, whose case is usually described in the head-line, as "A 'Armless Case," by one of our great dailies.) And their pals are waiting outside in the vestibule —Frowsy Kate (The Red Streak), Boko Bill, Pincher and his "piece," etc., getting together the stuff for the possible fines, and the ten-bob fee for the lawyer, in one case, and ready to swear to anything, if called upon. And I myself—though I have not yet entered Red Rock Lane Society—on bail, on a charge of "plain drunk." It was "drunk and disorderly" by the way, but a kindly sergeant  changed it to plain drunk (though I always thought my drunk was ornamental). Yet I am not ashamed—only comfortably dulled and a little tired —dully interested and observant, and hopeful for the sunlight presently. We low persons get too great a contempt for things to feel much ashamed at any time; and this very contempt keeps many of us from "reforming." We hear too many lies sworn that we know to be lies, and see too many unjust and brutal things done that we know to be brutal and unjust. But let us go back a bit, and suppose we are still waiting for the magistrate, and think of Last Night. "Silence!"—but from no human voice this time. The whispering, shuffling, and clicking of the court typewriter ceases, the scene darkens, and the court is blotted out as a scene is blotted out from the sight of a man who has thrown himself into a mesmeric trance. And: Drink—lurid recollection of being "searched"—clang of iron cell door, and I grope for and crawl on to the slanting plank. Period of oblivion—or the soul is away in some other world. Clang of cell door again, and soul returns in a hurry to take heed of another soul, belonging to a belated drunk on the plank by my side. Other soul says: "Gotta match?" So we're not in hell yet. We fumble and light up. They leave us our pipes, tobacco and matches; presently, one knocks with his pipe on the iron trap of the door and asks for water, which is brought in a tin pint-pot. Then follow intervals of smoking, incoherent mutterings that pass for conversation, borrowings of matches, knockings with the pannikin on the cell door wicket or trap for more water, matches, and bail; false and fitful starts into slumber perhaps—or wild attempts at flight on the part of our souls into that other world that the sober and sane know nothing of; and, gradually, suddenly it seems, reason (if this world is reasonable) comes back. "What's your trouble!"
"Don't know. Bomb outrage, perhaps." "Drunk?" "Yes." "What's yours!" "Same boat." But presently he is plainly uneasy (and I am getting that way, too, to tell the truth), and, after moving about, and walking up and down in the narrow space as well as we can, he "rings up" another policeman, who happens to be the fat one who is to be in charge all night. "Wot's up here?" "What have I been up to?" "Killin' a Chinaman. Go to sleep." Policeman peers in at me inquiringly, but I forbear to ask questions. Blankets are thrown in by a friend of mine in the force, though we are not entitled to them until we are bailed or removed to the "paddock" (the big drunks' dormitory and dining cell at the Central), and we proceed to make ourselves comfortable. My mate wonders whether he asked them to send to his wife to get bail, and hopes he didn't. They have left our wicket open, seeing, or rather hearing, that we are quiet. But they have seemingly left some other wickets open also, for from a neighbouring cell comes the voice of Mrs Johnson holding forth. The locomotive has apparently just been run into the cleaning sheds, and her fires have not had time to cool. They say that Mrs Johnson was a "lady once," like many of her kind; that she is not a "bad woman"—that is, not a woman of loose character—but gets money sent to her from somewhere—from her "family," or her husband, perhaps. But when she lets herself loose—or, rather, when the beer lets her loose—she is a tornado and a terror in Red Rock Lane, and it is only her fierce, practical kindness to her unfortunate or poverty-stricken sisters in her sober moments that keeps her forgiven in that classic thoroughfare. She can certainly speak "like a lady" when she likes, and like an intelligent, even a clever, woman—not like a "woman of the world," but as a woman who knew and knows the world, and is in hell. But now her language is the language of a rough shearer in a "rough shed" on a blazing hot day. After a while my mate calls out to her: "Oh! for God's sake give it a rest!" Whereupon Mrs Johnson straightway opens on him and his ancestry, and his mental, moral, and physical condition—especially the latter. She accuses him of every crime known to Christian countries and some Asiatic and ancient ones. She wants to know how long he has been out of jail for kicking his wife to pieces that time when she was up as a witness against him, and whether he is in for the same thing again? (She has never set eyes on him, by the way, nor he on her.) He calls back that she is not a respectable woman, and he knows all about her.
Thereupon she shrieks at him and bangs and kicks at her door, and demands his name and address. It would appear that she is a respectable woman, and hundreds can prove it, and she is going to make him prove it in open court. He calls back that his name is Percy Reginald Grainger, and his town residence is "The Mansions," Macleay Street, next to Mr Isaacs, the magistrate, and he also gives her the address of his solicitor. She bangs and shrieks again, and states that she will get his name from the charge sheet in the morning and have him up for criminal libel, and have his cell mate up as a witness—and hers, too. But just here a policeman comes along and closes her wicket with a bang and cuts her off, so that her statements become indistinct, or come only as shrieks from a lost soul in an underground dungeon. He also threatens to cut us off and smother us if we don't shut up. I wonder whether they've got her in the padded cell. We settle down again, but presently my fellow captive nudges me and says: "Listen!" From another cell comes the voice of a woman singing—the girl who is in for "inciting to resist, your worship," in fact. "Listen!" he says, "that woman could sing once." Her voice is low and sweet and plaintive, as of a woman who had been a singer but had lost her voice. And what do you think it is?  The crowd in accents hushed reply—  "Jesus of Nazareth passeth by." Mrs Johnson's cell is suddenly silent. Then, not mimickingly, mockingly, or scornfully, but as if the girl is a champion of Jesus of Nazareth, and is hurt at the ignorance of the multitude, and pities Him:  Now who is this Jesus of Nazareth, say? The policeman, coming along the passage, closes the wicket in her door, but softly this time, and not before we catch the plaintive words again.  The crowd in accents hushed reply  "Jesus of Nazareth passeth by." My fellow felon throws the blanket off him impatiently, sits up with a jerk, and gropes for his pipe. "God!" he says. "But this is red hot! Have you got another match?"  I wonder what the Nazarene would have to say about it. Sleep for a while. I wonder whether they'll give us time, or we'll be able to sleep some of our sins off in the end, as we sleep our drink off here? Then "The Paddock" and day light; but there's little time for the Paddock here, for we must soon be back in court. The men borrow and lend and divide tobacco, lend even pipes, while some break up hard tobacco and roll cigarettes with bits of newspaper. If it is Sunday morning, even those who have no hope for bail, and have long horrible day and night before them, will sometimes join in a cheer as the more fortunate are bailed. But the others have tea and bread and butter brought to them by one of the Prisoners' Aid Societies, who ask for no religion in return. They come to save bodies, and not to fish for souls. The men walk u and down and to
and fro, and cross and recross incessantly, as caged men and animals always do—and as some uncaged men do too. "Any of you gentlemen want breakfast?" Those who have money and appetites order; some order for the sake of the tea alone; and some "shout" two or three extra breakfasts for those who had nothing on them when they were run in. We low people can be very kind to each other in trouble. But now it's time to call us out by the lists, marshal us up in the passage and draft us into court. Ladies first. But I forgot that I am out on bail, and that the foregoing belongs to another occasion. Or was it only imagination, or hearsay? Journalists have got themselves run in before now, in order to see and hear and feel and smell for themselves—and write. "Silence! Order in the Court." I come like a shot out of my nightmare, or trance, or what you will, and we all rise as the magistrate takes his seat. None of us noticed him come in, but he's there, and I've a quaint idea that he bowed to his audience. Kindly, humorous Mr Isaacs, whom we have lost, always gave me that idea. And, while he looks over his papers, the women seem to group themselves, unconsciously as it were, with Mrs Johnson as front centre, as though they depended on her in some vague way. She has slept it off and tidied, or been tidied, up, and is as clear-headed as she ever will be. Crouching directly behind her, supported and comforted on one side by One-Eyed Kate, and on the other by Cock-Eyed Sal, is the poor bedraggled little resister of the Law, sobbing convulsively, her breasts and thin shoulders heaving and shaking under her openwork blouse—the girl who seemed to pity Jesus of Nazareth last night in her cell. There's very little inciting to resist about her now. Most women can cry when they like, I know, and many have cried men to jail and the gallows; but here in this place, if a woman's tears can avail her anything, who, save perhaps a police-court solicitor and gentleman-by-Act-of-Parliament, would, or dare, raise a sneer. I wonder what the Nazarene would have to say about it if He came in to speak for her. But probably they'd send Him to the receiving house as a person of unsound mind, or give Him worse punishment for drunkenness and contempt of court. His Worship looks up. Mrs Johnson (from the dock): "Good morning, Mr Isaacs. How do you do? You're looking very well this morning, Mr Isaacs." His Worship (from the Bench): "Thank you, Mrs Johnson. I'm feeling very well this, morning." There's a pause, but there is no "laughter." The would-be satellites don't know whom the laugh might be against. His Worship bends over the papers again, and I can see that he is having trouble with that quaintly humorous and kindly smile, or grin, of his. He has as hard a job to control his smile and get it off his face as some magistrates have to get a smile on to theirs. And there's a case coming by and by that he'll have to look a bit serious over. However— "Jane Johnson!" Mrs Johnson is here present, and reminds the Sergeant that she is. Then begins, or does begin in most courts, the same dreary old drone, like the giving out of a hymn, of the same dreary old charge:
"YouAreChargedWithBeingDrunkAndDisorderly —In—Such—And— Such—A—Street—How—Do—You—Plead —Guilty—Or—Not—Guilty?" But they are less orthodox here. The "disorderly" has dropped out of Mrs Johnson's charge somehow, on the way from the charge room. I don't know what has been going on behind the scenes, but, anyway, it is Christmas- time, and the Sergeant seems anxious to let Mrs Johnson off lightly. It means anything from twenty-four hours or five shillings to three months on the Island for her. The lawyers and the police—especially the lawyers—are secretly afraid of Mrs Johnson. However, again— The Sergeant: "This woman has not been here for six weeks, your Worship " . Mrs Johnson (who has him set and has been waiting for him for a year or so): "It's a damned lie, Mr Isaacs. I was here last Wednesday!" Then, after a horrified pause in the Court: "But I beg yourpardon, Mr Isaacs." His Worship's head goes down again. The "laughter" doesn't come here, either. There is a whispered consultation, and (it being Christmas-time) they compromise with Mrs Johnson for "five shillings or the risin'," and she thanks his Worship and is escorted out, rather more hurriedly than is comportable with her dignity, for she remarks about it. The members of the Johnsonian sisterhood have reason to be thankful for the "lift" she has given them, for they all get off lightly, and even the awful resister of Law-an'-order is forgiven. Mrs Johnson has money and is waiting outside to stand beers for them; she always shouts for the boys when she has it. And—what good does it all do? It is very hard to touch the heart of a woman who is down, though they are intensely sympathetic amongst themselves. It is nearly as hard as it is to combat the pride of a hard-working woman in poverty. It was such women as Mrs Johnson, One-Eyed Kate, and their sisters who led Paris to Versailles; and a King and a Queen died for it. It is such women as Mrs Johnson and One-Eyed Kate and their sisters who will lead a greater Paris to a greater Versailles some day, and many "Trust" kings and queens, and their princes and princesses shall die for it. And that reminds me of two reports in a recent great daily:  Miss Angelina De Tapps, the youngest daughter of the well-known  great family of brewers, was united in the holy bonds of matrimony  to Mr Reginald Wells—(here follows a long account of the smart  society wedding). The happy pair leave en route for Europe per the  —next Friday.  Jane Johnson, an old offender, again faced the music before Mr  Isaacs, S.M., at the Central yesterday morning—(here follows a  humorous" report of the case). " Next time poor Mrs Johnson will leaveen routefor "Th' Island" and stay there three months. The sisters join Mrs Johnson, who has some money and takes them to a favourite haunt and shouts for them—as she does for the boys sometimes. Their opinions on civilization are not to be printed.
Ginger and Wingy get off with the option, and, though the fine is heavy, it is paid. They adjourn with Boko Bill, and their politics are lurid. Squinny Peters (plain drunk—five bob or the risin'), who is peculiar for always paying his fine, elects to take it out this time. It appears that the last time Squinny got five bob or the risin' he ante'd up the splosh like a man, and the court rose immediately, to Squinny's intense disgust. He isn't taking any chances this time. Wild-Flowers-Charley, who recently did a fortnight, and has been out on bail, has had a few this morning, and, in spite of warnings from and promises to friends, insists on making a statement, though by simply pleading guilty he might get off easily. The statement lasts some ten minutes. Mr Isaacs listens patiently and politely and remarks: "Fourteen days." Charley saw the humour of it afterwards, he says. But what good does it all do? I had no wish to treat drunkenness frivolously in beginning this sketch; I have seen women in the horrors—that ought to be enough.
"ROLL UP AT TALBRAGAR"  Jack Denver died at Talbragar when Christmas Eve began,  And there was sorrow round the place, for Denver was a man;  Jack Denver's wife bowed down her head—her daughter's grief was wild,  And big Ben Duggan by the bed stood sobbing like a child.  But big Ben Duggan saddled up, and galloped fast and far,  To raise the longest funeral ever seen on Talbragar.  -Ben Duggan. Both funerals belonged to Big Ben Duggan in a way, though Jack Denver was indirectly the cause of both. Jack Denver was reckoned the most popular man in the district (outside the principal township)—a white man and a straight man —a white boss and a straight sportsman. He was a squatter, though a small one; a real squatter who lived on his run and worked with his men—no dummy, super, manager for a bank, or swollen cockatoo about Jack Denver. He was on the committees at agricultural shows and sports, great at picnics and dances, beloved by school children at school feasts (I wonder if they call them feasts still), giver of extra or special prizes, mostly sovs. and half-sovs., for foot races, etc.; leading spirit for the scrub district in electioneering campaigns—they went as right as men could go in the politics of those days who watched and went the way Jack Denver went; header of subscription lists for burnt-out, flooded-out, sick, hurt, dead or killed or otherwise knocked-out selectors and others, or their families; barracker and agitator for new provisional schools, assister of his Reverence and little bush chapels, friend of all manner of wanderers—careless, good-hearted scamps in trouble, broken-hearted new chums, wrecks and failures and outcasts of any
colour or creed, and especially of old King Jimmy and the swiftly vanishing remnant of his tribe. His big slab-and-shingle and brick-floored kitchen, with its skillions, built on more generous plans and specifications than even the house itself, was the wanderer's goal and home in bad weather. And—yes, owner, on a small scale, of racehorses, and a keen sportsman. Jack Denver and Big Ben Duggan were boys together on the old selections, and at the new provisional bark school at Pipeclay; they went into the Great North-West together "where all the rovers go" —stock-riding and droving and overlanding, and came back after a few years bronzed and seasoned and with wild yarns. Jack married and settled down on a small run his father had bought near Talbragar, and his generous family of tall, straight bush boys and tall, straight bush girls grew up and had their sweethearts. But, when Jack married, Big Ben Duggan went back again, up into Queensland and the Great North-West, with a makeshift mate who had also lost his mate through marriage. Ever and again, after one, and two, and three years—the periods of absence lengthening as the years went on—Big Ben Duggan would come back home, and stay a while (till the Great North-West began to call insistently) at Denver's, where he would be welcomed jubilantly by all—even the baby who had never seen him—for there was "something about the man." And, until late on the night of his return, he and Jack would sit by the fire in winter, or outside on the woodheap in summer, and yarn long and fondly about the Wide Places, and strange things they knew and understood. How sudden things are! Ben was back (just in time for the holidays and the Mudgee races) out of the level lands, where distance dwells in her halls of shimmering haze, after following her for five years. They were riding home from the races, the women and children in carts and buggies, the men and boys on horseback—of course. They raced each other along the road, across short cuts, through scrub and timber, and back to the slow-coming overloaded vehicles again, some riding wildly and recklessly. Jack Denver was amongst them, his heart warmed with good luck at the races, good whisky to wet it, and the return of his old mate. "We're as good as the best of the young 'uns yet, Ben!" he cried, as they swung through the trees. "Ain't we, you old—?" And then and there it happened. A new chum suggested that Jack had more than he thought aboard and was thrown from his horse; but the new chum was repudiated with scorn and bad words and indignation by bushmen and bushwomen alike—as indeed he would be by any bushman who had seen a drunken rider ride. "I learnt him to ride when he was a kiddy about so high, said old " Break-the-News Fosbery, resentfully gasping and gulping, "and Jack wasn't thrown." It was thought at first that his horse had shied and run him against a tree, or under an overhanging branch; but Ben Duggan had seen it, and explained the thing to the doctor with that strange calmness or quietness that comes to men in the midst of a life's grief. Jack was riding loosely, and swung forward just as the filly, a fresh young thing, threw back her head; and it struck him with sledge-hammer force, full in the face. He was dead, even before they got him to Anderson's Halfway Inn.
There was wild racing back to town for doctors, and some accidents; one horse was killed and another ridden to death. Others went as a forlorn hope in search of Doc. Wild, eccentric Yankee bush "quack," who had once saved one of Denver's little girls from diphtheria; others, again, for Peter M'Laughlan, bush missionary, to face the women—for they couldn't. Big Ben Duggan, blubbering unashamed by the bedside, put his hand on Mrs Denver's shoulder, as she crouched there, wild-eyed, like a hunted thing. "Nev—never mind, Mrs Denver!" he blurted out, with a note as of indignation and defiance—just for all the world as if Jack Denver had done a wrong thing and the district was down on him—"he'll have the longest funeral ever seen in these parts! Leave that to me." Then some of the women took her out to her daughter's. Big Ben Duggan gave terse instructions to some of the young riders about, and then, taking the best and freshest horse, the cross-country scrub swallowed him—west. The young men jumped on their horses and rode, fan-like, east. They took Jack Denver home. They always took their dead home first, whenever possible, and no matter the distance, before taking them to their last long home; and they do it yet, I suppose. They are not always so particular about it in cities, from what I've seen. But this was a strange funeral. They had arranged mattress and sheet in the bottom of a four-wheeler, and covered him with sheet, blanket, and quilt, though the weather was warm; and over the body, from side to side of the trap, they had stretched the big dark-green table-cloth from Anderson's dining-room. The long, ghostly, white, cleared government road between the dark walls of timber in the moonlight. The buggies and carts behind, and the dead-white faces and glistening or despairingly staring eyes of the women—wife, daughters, and nieces, and those who had come to help and comfort. The men—sons and brothers, and few mates and chums and sweethearts—riding to right and left like a bodyguard, to comfort and be comforted who needed comfort. Now and again a brother or son—mostly a brother—riding close to the wheel, would suddenly throw out his arm on the mud splasher, of buggy or cart, and, laying his head on it, sob as he rode, careless of tyre and spokes, till a woman pushed him off gently: "Take care of the wheel, Jim—mind the wheel." The eldest son held the most painful position, by his mother's side in the first buggy, supported by an aunt on the other side, while somebody led his horse. In the next buggy, between two daughters, sat a young fellow who was engaged to one of them—they were to be married after the holidays. The poor girls were white and worn out; he had an arm round each, and now and again they rested their heads on his shoulders. The younger girl would sleep by fits and starts, the sleep of exhaustion, and start up half laughing and happy, to be stricken wild-eyed the next moment by terrible reality. Some couldn't realize it at all—and to most of them all things were very dreamy, unreal and far away on that lonely, silent road in the moonlight—silent save for the slow, stumbling hoofs of tired horses, and the deliberate, half-hesitating clack-clack of wheel-boxes on the axles. Ben Duggan rode hard, as grief-stricken men ride—and walk. At Cooyal he woke up the solitary storekeeper and told him the news; then along that little-used old road for some miles both ways, and
back again, rousing prospectors and fossickers, the butcher of the neighbourhood, clearers, fencers, and timber-getters, in hut and tent. "Who's that?" "What's up?" "What's the matter?" "Ben Duggan! Jack Denver's dead! Killed ridin' home from the races! Funeral's to-morrow. Roll up at Talbragar or the nearest point you can get to on the government road. Tell the neighbours and folks." "Good God! How did it happen?" But the hoofs of Ben's horse would be clattering or thudding away into the distance. He struck through to Dunne's selection—his brother-in-law, who had not been to the races; then to Ross's farm—Old Ross was against racing, but struck a match at once and said something to his auld wife about them black trousers that belonged to the black coat and vest. Then Ben swung to the left and round behind the spurs to the school at Old Pipeclay, where he told the schoolmaster. Then west again to Morris's and Schneider's lonely farms in the deep estuary of Long Gully, and through the gully to the Mudgee-Gulgong road at New Pipeclay. The long, dark, sullenly-brooding gully through which he had gone to school in the glorious bush sunshine with Jack Denver, and his sweetheart—now but three hours his hopelessly-stricken widow; Bertha Lambert, Ben's sweetheart —married now, and newly a grandmother; Harry Dale—drowned in the Lachlan; Lucy Brown—Harry's school-day and boy-and-girl sweetheart—dead; and—and all the rest of them. Far away, far away—and near away: up in Queensland and out on the wastes of the Never-Never. Riding and camping, hardship and comfort, monotony and adventure, drought, flood, blacks, and fire; sprees and—the rest of it. Long dry stretches on Dead Man's Track. Cutting across the country in No Man's Land where there were no tracks into the Unknown. Chancing it and damning it. Ill luck and good luck. Laughing at it afterwards and joking at it always; he and Jack —always he and Jack—till Jack got married. The children used to say Long Gully was haunted, and always hurried through it after sunset. It was haunted enough now all right. But, raising the gap at the head of the gully, he woke suddenly and came back from the hazy, lazy plains; the  Level lands where Distance hides in her halls of shimmering haze,  And where her toiling dreamers ride towards her all their days; where "these things" are ever far away, and Distance ever near —and whither he had drifted, the last hour, with Jack Denver, from the old Slab School. "I wonder whether old Fosbery's got through yet?" he muttered, with nervous anxiety, as he looked down on the cluster of farms and scattered fringe of selections in the broad moonlight. "I wonder if he's got there yet?" Then, as if to reassure himself: "He must have started an hour before me, and the old man can ride yet." He rode